Maryam Malekpour is a mechanical engineer residing in Vancouver, Canada. Ms. Malekpour fled Iran in 2012 after discovering that Iranian authorities were planning to arrest her for bringing international attention to the grave situation of her imprisoned brother, Saeed Malekpour.
Ms. Malekpour settled in Canada, where she campaigned tirelessly for her brother’s release. A freelance web programmer and Canadian resident in Iran on a visit, Mr. Malekpour was kidnapped off the streets in Tehran on October 4 2008 by plainclothes police. Interrogators working for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s ‘cyber army’ subjected him to severe physical and psychological torture until he confessed to false charges, including moderating several pornographic websites. After his forced confessions were aired on Iranian state-managed media channels, Mr. Malekpour released a letter from prison detailing the torture he underwent, and declaring that his confessions were coerced.
International outcry forced Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to commute his death sentence to life in prison. He escaped through a third country to rejoin his sister in Canada in 2019.